Sage TCR 890-4
Being the Saltwater believer that you know me to be, I very nearly decided to attempt Kahawai fishing with an imaginary rod. Instead, however, I got one of these. I think that was a better plan. Most rod reviews are a quick cast in a field reviews. Here on Sexyloops we take our reviews seriously and consequently I've been fishing with this rod for the past six months. In that time I've caught a fictitious number of Kahawai.
The TCR8, like the TCR5, is fast. It's also pretty stiff. In fact if you know the 5 then the 8 is its big brother. I decided to get one of these on the recommendation of Lars, who also has one.
I don't know if you've ever caught a Kahawai before, probably not, but these are tremendously powerful fish. A friend of mine reckons, tied tail-to-tail, they'd pull five trout backwards and since this can all happen in heavy surf you'll need a rod with some serious grunt. Often, although not always, you find yourself making long casts off the beach, using heavy flies. The surf's crashing around you, threatening to suck you out to sea, it's windy as hell; it's great fun and you need a beast of a rod.
But even a beast can have finesse and the TCR certainly has plenty of that, with its fast accurate tip. For the past 6 months I've been using one to bang out shooting heads, a few days ago I received an XXD8 so I could assess the rod on a level I can actually understand. That and go pike fishing.
This is a long smooth casting tool. My flycasting partner, Jon Allen, stuck one 138ft 11 and hasn't stopped emailing me about it since. Quite how he managed this I don't know, it's certainly the longest full-line cast I've seen. Jon now signs off his emails as “Flycasting Athlete and TCR8 Specialist”. Of course you don't need to cast that far, as I told Jon at the time, and he would do much better if he would restrict himself to 85 ft. Especially in competitions.
So stiff butt, precise tip and an amazing performance rod – the rod itself is fitted with a Full Wells handle and a small extension butt for hanging on to those big Kahawai, that may or may not exist.
It's a very nice rod indeed, certainly one of the finest 8-weights around. It handles everything you'll ever need in the way of pike, carp, bass and mid-weight saltfly. And I'm sure it would carry a 9 with ease. It's comes in 4-piece, which is as it should be and I've no hesitation in fully recommending it.